Sunday, November 12, 2017

Conseils à d'éventuels futurs coureurs du marathon de NYC

Pour tous ceux à qui mon récit aurait donné envie de courir, quelques conseils...

D'abord si vous n'avez pas eu envie de courir le marathon de NYC en me lisant, vous avez le droit (si si, je vous y autorise) mais c'est juste que vous n'aimez pas la fête quoi parce qu'en vrai, courir n'est pas obligatoire pour profiter de cet événement incroyable. Vous pouvez le faire en mode "randonnée" et vous amuser.

Donc, si vous avez envie de courir.
  1. Avoir une bonne équipe médicale (médecin, ostéopathe, kiné, podologue). Pour le médecin et le podologue, j'ai vraiment eu une équipe de choc (MERCI!) ; pour le kiné, je suis tombée sur de bons professionnels mais l'un d'eux ne m'a pas reprise car il n'avait pas le temps (pas très sympa) et l'autre était un remplaçant donc je ne pourrai vous en recommander. 
  2. Bien s'entourer pour la préparation (amis expérimentés, coachs...). Me concernant, j'ai eu la chance d'avoir pas mal de copains qui avaient couru le marathon et qui ont pu me prévenir de prendre plein de vêtements chauds pour l'attente par exemple, des collègues, des collègues de Julien. Et puis j'ai bénéficié des conseils de Grégory via la fac et de Curves.
  3. Si vous êtes comme moi, sensible à l'énergie des gens, le fait d'avoir des audios de plein de monde était une super idée, ça m'a permis de tenir tout le temps. C'était top.
  4. Si vous n'avez pas spécialement l'envie / le temps de jouer à la loterie, j'étais très contente de Ouest Voyages. Ils ont été super pros, très réactifs, sympas et on peut prendre le vol+dossard, ce qui évite de payer nécessairement un hôtel hors de prix. L'assurance a également été très bien parce que lorsque je suis tombée malade (quelques jours avant), j'avais eu un médecin qui avait été très sympa et m'avait dit que je pourrais courir, que ce n'était pas l'idée du siècle mais que ce n'était pas dangereux à part que je prolongerai la vie de mon virus de quelques jours.
Évidemment, avoir des collègues sympas et soutenants, des amis géniaux, l'amoureux du siècle, des frères et sœurs incroyables, une famille fantastique, et des parents fabuleux a beaucoup aidé... Mais là, il y a en partie un facteur chance.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

The D-day

I was so sick, I had such a bad night (in the bathroom if you can imagine how glamourous it was) that if Julien had not been there, I wouldn't even have succeeded in reaching the bus stop which was leaving at 5.45 am!
Then, in the bus of my Ouest Voyage Tour, people were really nice, I could sit right behind the driver who opened the window for me so that at least, I did not throw up whatever I had left.

When I arrived at the marathon start village, I could barely walk and I hardly reached a first tent where I was freezing. One guy of the organization helped me to reach a medical tent. They checked me quite seriously and told me it was really not something to do... the exact words were "I cannot forbid you to go because you heart is fine and I know it's important for you but it's a very bad idea to do the race and I want to make sure you understood that".
At that stage, I called my mother and she told me that maybe I could go across the Verrazano Bridge and, at least enjoy the departure. She told me that it was only 2 miles (3km) and Julien and my parents would be there to help me in case I needed it. There were medical tents every mile so I felt safe.

I told the doctors that I would try to run for two miles wondering how I could. Staying a while in the medical tents I could admire how wonderfully organized it was. They would provide you with blankets, Vaseline, band aid, or whatever you would need.

The doctors told me I should at least drink a lot and eat something. I had taken a banana with me which I ate really slowly and with great difficulties. I discovered that they were providing hot chocolate and not only tea or coffee as I thought so I tried to drink one but I was too sick to finish it.

I went to sleep on the ground next to my starting corral while people arround me would warm up. At that point, I was really wondering how to get up and walking for 2 miles seemed almost impossible. Then I remembered I had prepared pills in case I felt bad: I had vitamins, pills for the cough, paracetamol and something not to vomit... I took everything I had. Never know in case it could work....

In the village
I was so sad thinking that nobody would see the amazing T-shirt my sister and my nephew had done for me that I went to the official photographs to have pictures of it.

Especially after the terrorist attack in NYC a few days before so close to where I was, I was very proud of the "From Paris For Peace"  that is written upon it. I knew my family was really with me and I wanted to show that T-shirt.
At 9.15 am, I kind of crawled into my corral watching the thousand of people around me still wondering how I would make it to go across the bridge. I was coughing a little less and felt a little less dizzy.
Around 10 am,  I tried to go to the toilets as they [the organization] were saying (in English, French, Spanish...) we needed to go before crossing the bridge. So I got up and then I began to walk (very slowly) to the departure point. A girl next to me told me I would make it, not to worry. 
I wasn't worrying to "make it", I was worrying about crossing the bridge. 2 miles seemed like infinity to me at that stage. I did not enjoy the "New York New York" song so much and focused on staying up and I tried to reach the left side of the bridge because I was meeting my parents on the left side.
The departure
View from the Verrazano Bridge
So I was walking slowly, I was thinking "well, if you go for 3km, try to enjoy them at least and take some pictures". So I did...I was walking along, trying to jogtrot a bit and to take pictures. My mother had given me a "Beethoven" song and that was the beginning of my random music marathon playlist. The one you made for me. I had time for all the songs and did not turn it off.

Many people were enjoying the view and I did not feel I was the only slow one.

 At one point, maybe after 1km, I passed an old woman, she was running slowly, even slower than my jogtrot. She was obviously going to finish, I told her I admired her and I thought that if she could do it, I should be able to do it as well. Later I would pass many handicaped people, runners in wheel-chairs or with one leg.....
Well, so slowly, thinking I had time and taking pictures, I finally arrived "running" (jogtrotting is closer to the truth) to my parents and Julien.  My amazing cheering team had a pink flag (very useful to meet them) and two pink hats (thanks to curves)
An amazing cheering team (2 pink hats and one pink flag)

They gave me a piece of banana (they had everything ready) and asked me how I felt. I was not feeling really good but already better than half an hour before so I told them I would try to meet them at the next point which was 3 miles further (5km).

At that stage, I should mention that Julien had prepared an amazing road book with pictures and precise meeting points, part of the meeting points where my parents and Julien would be together, part of them where they would be separated. There were 12 meeting points scheduled.
  1. 3km (2 miles) after a turn on the left (I had to know all of them precisely  by heart in order not to miss them)
  2.  8km (5 miles) at a bakery on the left side of the road
  3. 13km (8 miles) when the orange, green and blue wave mixed together, on the left
  4. 19 km (12 miles) in front of the Dunkin Donuts, on the left
  5. 23 km  (14,3 miles) under the bridge, only my parents, on the right
  6. 26 km (16 miles) in front of the Ritz dinner, on the left, so after the bridge on the left with Julien only
  7. 29km (18 miles) in front of the gaz station Shell with only my parents on my left
  8. 31km (19,4 miles) in front of the well Fargo Bank with Julien on my lefy
  9. 33,5km (21 miles) under the bridge in the Bronx on the right with my parents
  10. 36km (22,5 miles) before the entrance of Central Park with Julien on my left
  11. 41km (25,6 miles) exiting Central Park with my parents on my left
  12. 42km (26 miles) before the finish with Julien on my left
As you can see, the longest time without seeing any of my family was 6km so it felt really safe. I am not even talking of the fact that the marathon provides you with water, medical tent and toilets every mile and that 2,5 millions people are helping you.

In the subway to meet me
Between point 1 and point 2, I was in Brooklyn, the atmosphere was great and I went on slowly but surely. I began to enjoy the atmosphere, the crowd, all the signs saying "You run faster than the MTA" (the NYC subway), "Run as if Harvey Weinstein was behind you", "However you run, you run better than the government is running this country", "Pain is temporary, your victory is forever", "you are my hero", "I trained one week to carry that sign", "You thought it was a good idea 4 months ago", etc...

I must say I especially liked that one so I took a picture of it... I was really excited to run the NYC marathon 4 months ago. I still don't understand how I made it.

I wasn't running faster than the MTA at that point so I could meet my parents at Rendez-vous 2 as planned.

I asked for my rain jacket and gave them my sweat-shirt because the weather cast had warned about the rain that was supposed to come and I wasn't cold (it was 17°C).

Well, I did something that was really useful with great instinct because the rain started to fall 30 seconds after I took my jacket.
Between point 2 and point 3, I had an amazing time, there was a Gospel concert, a rock concert.
Each of my previous trip in NYC, I went to a Gospel Mass in Harlem. I must say, I love that. It was kind of frustrating this time not to be able to get there but, on the contrary, it was really great to enjoy a bit of the Mass, in front of the church in Brooklyn.

At that stage, I had run 10km and I was beginning to feel well and, more important, to enjoy the party.
NYC marathon is a huge party with 2,5 millions people telling you how great and inspiring you are. I was thinking "why would you want to go fast, it's a party, I want it to last longer"

So I took time to enjoy each seconds, each child that would go for a "high five", each of the 130 concerts, each sign, each "bonus point if you touch here" sign...

Whenever I would touch a sign with a mushroom drawn on it saying "bonus point if you touch here", I would jump like Mario in the video game. People would laugh and applause, I had a lot of fun.

Then I knew I would go to the end, maybe slowly but I would to it. It was just too much fun.  That is what I said to Julien and my parents when I met them at the 3rd meeting point (13km) .

Julien had some cream for my right foot that I took, my father had prepared bananas, apples, dried mangoes and dried figs that I could choose at each stop and that was great. We took a picture and I went on running. I just thought I should have taken a "go pro camera" because my parents and Julien were missing so much of the race, I wanted to share everything with them.

All the waves (orange, green and blue) were merging and we were more numerous. Plus, the first runners of the third wave were arriving and passing through me. As I had already read in someone else's blog: "in NYC marathon, you are always passing someone and someone is always passing you"

The Jewish part of the Queens was striking by its lack of atmosphere! No one to cheer or help or give you bananas, or tissues or water !

A woman had a sign "run until you are proud"... I already was. 😊

You think I am writing too much ?  I ran a marathon!

I haven't been telling a third of the race yet and, at that stage, I had not meet the 2,5 millions people that were there already so be patient if you want to know the whole story. A Marathon is 42,2km and I ran 44,2km because I went so many times onto the side...

At km 19, 4th meeting point, I was great.
I was thinking that Julien would have loved that rock concert I stopped by for dancing a bit or things like that.

Julien had an amazing pink flag that I could see from really far away and that was a great comfort, one kilometer before, to see him from behind.

The next road was going up but well, it's just clapping hands and fun so that, at about km 20, I was beginning to feel really good and so... I got hungry.
I decided I had to eat and I chose to eat a cereal bar I had taken with me for breakfast but well... The truth is that I was still sick and my body did not appreciate the treatment.
Fortunately, there were toilets every mile and even when you feel like vomiting on the side of the road, people will tell you "you rock", "you are sexy", "you are my hero"...

So I was a sexy rocking sick vomiting hero but still a hero😎😎😎

Well, I reached the half-marathon in a little more than 2h30 thinking that now that I was feeling perfect, maybe I could begin to run for real. I accelerate and run at my "normal" pace (a little more than 10km/h) so I passed a lot of people, especially on bridges. I had been so slow from the beginning that I was with slower people than me (I mean me considering my training).
I still had all your words and musics in my Iphone and it was really great.

My parents were at the 5th meeting point under the bridge, I just took some dry fruit and went on running. I was very serious about the food and the water. I was drinking every mile and sometimes between because people would provide us with water and I had a very small (10cl?) bottle of water in my pocket so that I could have a sip here and there. I knew I did not have a proper breakfast and I hadn't kept whatever I ate the previous days so I was very serious with the bananas and the dry fruits that I could eat without being sick and with the risk of dehydration that I had been warned about by the doctors at the beginning of the race.

Then I easily climbed over Queensboro Bridge thinking that I was allowed to go faster at that point... 25 km already... The party was ending too fast!

Every area of the city would welcome you with signs, shouting, often giving you bananas, water, concerts. Some people were disguised either in Bananas to give you some or in monsters that would tell you "run as if I was behind you".

Right after the bridge, I met Julien. He was less organized than my parents as far as food was concerned so we looked into his bag for some dry fruit, kissed, and I was really fine. We were at km26. He lost his wig probably there.

At that stage, I DID RUN FASTER THAN THE MTA so that my parents were not at the 6th meeting point at the 29th km. Well, I knew that the next meeting was only 2km after so I just sent a text message to Julien to tell them I missed my parents and I went on running enjoying the music and all.

But I was still feeling good and running fast so that Julien did not make it neither to the 31th km. Then my parents did not make it for the 8th meeting point. At that stage, I felt a little sad. 3 points in a row.

I should have eaten something but what I had with me was not what I needed and I already had a bad experience with the cereal bar... Then the playlist was over, I listen to the Beethoven song again on the last bridge (the one from Harlem to Manhattan). I had run more than 3h20 at that step... I took a picture from the bridge on which I passed many runners.

The bridge was a double deck one and we were running under the upper deck, protected from the rain. But when we finished the bridge, it was raining more strongly, I hadn't had any supply for 10km and I felt cold and I coughed a lot and around the 34th km, I couldn't breathe.
On the bridges there is no crowd to help you.

In addition, as I had ran across the street a lot (to go to bathroom, to see people or whatever), I had run 2 more km than what I was supposed so that my GPS would say I had already run 36km, which could have been Julien's meeting point but the meeting point was in 2km.

So, as I couldn't breathe well, I walked under the cold rain until I reached Julien.I did not even think of stopping at that stage, I had run 36km already ! But it was sad to think that I wouldn't make it in less than 5 hours and that I wasn't able to run "for real". On the other hand, it was a miracle to be there. Anyway, after the bridge the crowd was there, helping. I reached Julien. He gave me a dry mango and the Ventolin inhaler to help me breathe. It worked about 15 minutes later so that at the 38th km, I could run normally and fast. Then my GPS told me the marathon was over as I was crossing the 40th km (because I had run 2km more). I was a little lost with that information but I did the "real" distance of the marathon in 5 hours (well, that's not the 3h50 I expected but still, it's not that bad).

My parents were not at the 11th meeting point so I was thinking I would miss the sweat-shirt they had for me but it was just too crowdy and they were just there, one block further... The pull-over was ready and I went on fast.

I don't know if the video is available (the one right here, on the left of this text) but if it is, that is when Julien was at the last meeting point. I was surprised he succeeded in making it.

The arrival was 200m further, I felt fine and I could have gone on running a few more miles.That's true!

Unbelievable! I made it.

I had 1% battery left on my phone to meet Julien.

One hour later I still felt fine but 2 hours later, the illness came back so that in the evening, I couldn't eat and I did not really sleep either. It stayed like this (ill) while on the plane. I had my first good night 4 days later but my legs were not tired and my feet were fine so that today, one week later, I could go climbing. 😘

Thanks to you all so much! Your words, text messages, all these helped a lot.

Last days before the marathon

I had a cold in the last days, I was coughing a lot but I thought it would be okay.

We went to fetch my bib with Julien and my parents and we were all very excited, trying the T-shirts and all this.

I was making everyone listen to the nice audio you had made for me, which was a lot of fun for Julien at the NYC Marathon expo.

I tried to thank you all on the "thank you wall" but you were too numerous and all your names did not fit in the paper even if I was trying to write smaller and smaller! I did receive and listen to all your words thought.

Then I had my last small run in NYC, enjoying the sun even thought I was coughing a lot and had trouble to breathe.

So I choose to rest and spend the day before the marathon sleeping at home while Julien went to the pasta party and my name (and my brother's name even thought it was not my brother) on the wall.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Last trainings

I arrived in the USA in Boston  for Halloween where I had been 25 years ago for a school exchange. The same family my sister was in, who became family friends welcome Julien and I very warmly.

Both Beth and John are very much into sports, they could take me to places to train for bicycling or swimming, which could preserve my feet. So I choose to go to a bicycling course with Beth on saturday, I had a great time.

Then I had my last "small long run" (8 miles = 13km çit's quite short for a long run) in the Boston area, with all the autumn leaves, it was really nice and it went well, I could go faster, my feet did not hurt. I was coughing a lot but it seemed fine and I thought I was ready for the marathon even thought I was desappointed by my interrupted training that couldn't allow me to run as fast as I had hoped

Friday, October 27, 2017

Décollage imminent

I am flying soon...

My suitcase is ready and contains these two amazing T-shirt my nephew drew for me.

So excited

My feet are much better, that is a really good piece of news

I still run slow but well, you never know... I tell you more later

You can follow me here in real time

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mon marathon est-il une performance artistique?

Il y a quelque chose d'absurde et impérieux, inutile et indispensable dans ce marathon.

Du coup, je me demande dans quelle mesure ce marathon est une performance artistique ? Il n'y a pas de création mais il peut y avoir transcendance et dépassement de soi. Les émotions devraient être au rendez-vous, peut être une forme de beauté.

C'est collectif mais très individuel en même temps. Mais complètement collectif. Le fait que j'ai couru 33km en juin ne "compte pas vraiment", j'attends du marathon de New-York des émotions, quelque chose qui se transmet, cette vibration collective que d'autres (suivez mon regard) trouvent certainement dans la musique.

Departure 10.15 Orange wave 2 corral D

I received my departure time for the marathon. It will be 10.15, wave 2 corral D... and Orange
which means my was at the beginning is in Orange on the map
I heard it means I will be on the top of Verrano Bridge which is supposed to be the most amazing so I am probably lucky

I heard there were 4 waves so it could really have been worse.

I don't expect to finish before 14.00 best case scenario, and more probably not before 15.15 and that is not even the worst case scenario...

I really wonder how it will be to run so slow for such a long time. Sounds a little boring from here.

Still, I talked with a friend whose collegue couldn't finish the 20km of Paris which I did easily (and slowly), so I wonder if it's better to finish slowly but then I don't get the feeling of self-transcendence but did finish or if I may try to go fast knowing that "not finishing" is not an option for me...

3 weeks to think now

For the nice people who are going to support me: try to fing a wig, a flag, or anything that will help me spot you in the crowd! And don't forget to tell me!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

20km au ralenti

 A gauche c'est ma tenue super classe pour les 20km de Paris avec le pantalon que ma sœur m'a offert pour mon marathon d'anniversaire et le T-shirt des 20km...
Mais en fait, avec la pluie au départ, ça donnait plutôt cela:

J'exagère un peu... quand il a arrêté de pleuvoir (assez vite), on avait surtout la Tour Eiffel et un max de monde (33000 personnes inscrites, 25000 présentes)

Je dois avouer qu'avec une seule cabine de toilette accessible pour les 15000 participants de notre sas, c'est à dire des centaines de personnes qui faisaient la queue, j'ai été un poil agacée contre les organisateurs et au lieu de les remercier du fait qu'ils nous ont offert des supers trucs bio à manger, plein de fruits, j'ai râlé sur l'absence de toilettes... Mais il y a des priorités. J'avais tenté de me renseigner la veille et on m'avait assuré que ça fonctionnerait. Ce n'était pas le cas... Heureusement qu'on traversait le bois de Boulogne... C'est pas glamour mais je suis énervée que les participants n'anticipent pas mieux ce genre de points qui ne sont pas si accessoires.

Bref, une fois le départ un peu chaotique passé, j'ai trouvé Julien qui m'attendait avec un ami et sa fille (bonus surprise), j'ai pu laisser mon manteau et j'étais bien contente de ne pas avoir eu besoin de la consigne!
J'ai vu mes beaux parents à l'arc de triomphe.
Petit loupé place Dauphine à cause d'une erreur de géolocalisation mais j'ai pu voir Julien aux deux points suivants qu'on avait prévu.
Surprise à nouveau au kilomètre 15 où je croise ma cousine venue encourager mon cousin (qui avait fini depuis 45 minutes sa course, il a fait 1h30 lui).

Alors après, c'est un peu compliqué. Pour ceux qui ont suivi, je n'ai pas pu courir depuis le 29 août ou quasiment pas pu courir...
Donc là, je n'avais pas vraiment le droit de courir, j'avais des semelles quasiment neuves.
La négociation avec mon médecin a donné comme conclusion que j'avais le droit de courir au ralenti, max 130 battements/minutes et ça veut dire en gros 8km/h.
Course méga frustrante à 8km/h... 145bpm au départ, 100bpm à l'arrivée malgré une très légère accélération à 9km/h à la fin parce que je m'ennuyais vraiment et 115bpm en moyenne (donc 60% de la FCM). Je suis arrivée 24000 sur 25000!

Bref, heureusement je me suis fait une copine dans une situation analogue dans mon sas de filles qui pensaient qu'elles allaient cartonner et qui ne pouvaient pas courir "vraiment" (coucou Barbara), on a papoté 2h30, très très tranquillement, sans arrêter de parler.
Aucune courbature, pas trop la sensation d'avoir fait du sport, plutôt d'avoir fait une rando sympa. Je me suis bien amusée (Barbara est très sympa).

Mais le plus important: pas mal du tout aux pieds! :-)
Très légère douleur hyper locale en rentrant à la maison, partie avec la glace... On va voir demain matin.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ready for the triathlon ?

This sunday, as I couldn't really run a lot (because of my foot), I run just 35 minutes, slowly and then, as I needed to pratice, I went swimming for one hour, high speed (for me)...

As I am compensating the fact that I cannot run by bicycling about 4 or 5 hours per week, well, I think I should be soon ready for the triathlon.

Well, the only problem is I am running a marathon....